Monday, October 16, 2017

The Best Word Game Apps 2017 by Michael Gorman

Word games are a perfect fit for today’s crazy lifestyle. They sharpen your vocabulary, train your brain, and provide entertainment whenever you feel like exercising your mind. Because of these great benefits, there is no shortage of word games for both Android and iOS.

If you are new to word games, you will find something interesting in the list of word games below. All of them are free and you can play advanced levels without having to pay anything.

1. Word Cookies


The first game on our list challenges players to create a number of words from a set of letters. They are contained in a special pot below the screen and you have to swipe around them to create solutions. If a player exceeds the number of words in the task, the game rewards them with coins. These helpful items can rescue in difficult situations by providing hints.

Word Cookies are available for both Android and iOS


2. WordBrain


An awesome word game with a 4.4 rating on Google Play. WordBrain has pretty simple rules that frequent players will certainly recognize: a set of words is provided which should be used to compile a word. As simple as it sounds, higher levels in the game are difficult enough to keep you playing for hours. People working with words often find them awesome for training.

The player’s development system in WordBrain is also amazing. A user starts with an ant with the smallest brain weight and ends with a unicorn with the heaviest. Additionally, the players can choose to play in different languages (15 languages with 700 levels per language).

Get WordBrain on Google Play Store or App Store to begin becoming a brainiac!

3. Wordscapes


If you have a nature-themed wallpaper as a background on your computer, you will want to grab a few from this game. Every level is played on a stunning nature background to help the player relax. The rules are simple: crossword-style structures on the top of the screen need to be filled by words which you put together by swiping a box on the bottom. The bonus system rewards the player with hints that help to complete more complex levels.

Wordscapes has in-game ads but they are unobtrusive and displayed only between levels. So, if you are ready to challenge yourself in this game, get it for your Android or iOS device now.  

4. SpellTower


This app was named the best by 148Apps' 2011 Best App Ever Awards, and for a good reason. The main idea is to create words from a jumble of letter tiles to clear the entire screen before a complete refill. This task is pretty addictive and SpellTower has confidently survived the test of time to become a true classic of the word game genre.

Five modes for are available for single player including puzzle mode, extreme puzzle mode, rush mode, debate mode, and tower mode. If you feel like playing against your friends, switch to the multiplayer battle mode and let the game begin!

SpellTower is available for download for both Android and iOS as well. 


5. Wordfeud


The first truly multiplayer word game on our list deserves special attention. Wordfeud is played by more than 30 million people all around the world which makes it one of the most popular in this genre. The purpose of the game is to create and place words on the 15 x 15 tile board and earn as many points as possible.

To try your skills against an opponent, a player can challenge them in a mini-competition. You can also play against your friends and even chat with them! Wordfeud has a high rating (4.4 on Google Play Store and 4.8 on App Store), so it will definitely become one of your favorite word game.

Install it for Android or iOS to begin playing.

6. Word Search


The last item on this list is another true classic of word game genre that many people love. The title of the game pretty much reveals the task: the players need to find words hidden in the board. Hundreds of puzzles will keep you playing for a lot of time and enjoy this great game. If you’re stuck playing a difficult level, the app gives you hints to make sure you advance to the next level.

Also, you will love Word Search for a lack of in-app purchases and little obtrusive ads between levels. If you have an Android device, you can get it on Google Play Store for free. iOS users are welcome to download it from the App Store.

Any Favorites?


Are you interested in trying some of these games? Well, have fun playing and training your brain! All of them are free and available for both Android and iOS, so you can download them today!

Michael Gorman is high skilled editor and proofreader who currently works at Awriter. He is proficient in blog writing and online freelance networking. Feel free to contact him via Facebook .

If you have any word game apps to recommend, tell us about them in the comments below.

Monday, October 9, 2017

How To Develop Speaking Skills Through Reading by Adela Belin

Learning to speak the another language can be an extremely rewarding process once you get the hang of it. People who've just started learning a language tend to get nervous when they have to speak. This can hamper their abilities when it comes to speaking. While a lot of people in the world can read another language, many struggle when it comes to speaking.

While reading and speaking are often seen as different skills, you can improve your speaking through reading. The more you read, the better you will speak. Here are a few ways in which you can improve your speaking skills through reading.


Read Aloud


Reading aloud is a "classic" way to increase your speaking skills. Since every writer has their own tone and rhythm, if you pick up a book and read it aloud, you'll inevitably pick up this rhythm. If you keep doing this with different kinds of books from different kinds of authors, you'll get a feel for each author's rhythm. This can help you speak the language in a more natural and expressive way, rather than like a robot.

Make a Note of New Vocabulary


Reading is the best way to build vocabulary. Avid readers have a broader vocabulary and therefore are therefore better at expressing themselves. When you read, keep a notepad next to you. You can use this notepad to jot down the new words that you come across and their meanings. You should also go back over the new vocabulary once or twice a week.

Join a Book Club


Reading together in a book club is a great way to build a community of language learners. Join a club (or start one yourself) where you sit together for a few hours, read a few chapters, and then have a discussion. This will not only enhance your speaking abilities while reading but also let you practise speaking.

Reading is one of the best things in the world. In addition to being fun, it can help you master a language.

Adela Belin is a private educator and a writer at Writers Per Hour. She shares her teaching experience with colleagues, students, and writers. Feel free to contact Adela on G+.

Do you have any techniques for improving your speaking? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Monday, October 2, 2017

7 Brainy Benefits to Learning a Foreign Language by Arthur Berner

Why Learn Foreign Languages?


There are plenty of studies that support studying a foreign language. There is proof that a bilingual's brain functions differently to that of a monolingual and is more adaptive to change. Don't forget that adult learners can easily achieve the same level as their younger rivals in the same period of time and enjoy the same benefits of language learning.

1. Boost Your Brain


Intense language learning uses different areas of the brain in different ways. This helps your brain to become more efficient and adaptable. Studies show that bilingual students tend to perform better in tests than their monolingual counterparts.

2. Multitasking


The ability to switch between two languages also makes you better at multitasking. Language learners are able to dedicate their attention to a variety of different tasks.


3. Reduce the Risk of Dementia


The consumption of new information and brain activity involved with learning a foreign language has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.


4. Mending Memories


Although the brain isn't a muscle, it sometimes seems to act like one: the more you exercise, the better it works. When you study a language, you need to remember a lot of information including words, rules, conjugations, etc. This brain exercise can help you improve your memory overall.

5. Observation Skills


Bilinguals tend to be more observant, focus on details better, and also distinguish relevant and important information better than a monolingual would.


6. Problem Solving


When you study a second language, you regularly need to think laterally. This process can help you become better at solving both verbal and non-verbal problems.

7. Learn More About Your Own Language



Studying the details of a foreign language can help you better understand the same concepts in your own language. These skills will help you to communicate and write better in your mother tongue.

Arthur Berner is a professional freelance writer, SMM expert and online business growth consultant at 10 page papers. He's an expert in SEO, copywriting, establishing social media presence, guest and blog post writing, viral marketing, and video content production.

Monday, September 25, 2017

10 Things to Do If You Find Learning Languages Way Too Difficult by Rachel Bartee

Language learning is an exciting adventure but at the same time, it can be a mind-boggling process. However, it’s not a sprint race but rather a marathon. You need to invest a lot of time and efforts in this project and that’s mostly why many people find language learning way too difficult.

For that reason, only 7% of college students in America are enrolled in a language course. That doesn't mean that you should despair and give up. Remember that the more languages you know, the more human you are. With each new language you learn, you enrich your personality and extend the borders of your self-awareness. At the same time, language learning even boosts academic achievements

Bearing all these things in mind, you should never give up trying to master a foreign language. Here is my list of the 10 most practical things that can help you while studying. 

Start Off Slowly


The easiest thing you can do while learning a new language is to give up because you plunged into learning and exerted yourself too quickly. What you should do is to prepare yourself for a long studying period and don’t expect huge improvements in the beginning. Be patient and learn gradually. 

For example, you could begin by learning only a dozen basic words each day. This may sound silly but you’ll actually learn a lot of words that way in only one month. After all, keep in mind that it takes only around 500 words to reach the A1 language level.

Set Clear Objectives


Whatever you do, you should set the personal objectives and follow the plan you have created. It’s the same with foreign languages – you should decide how long it will take you to become fluent or how many words per month you would like to learn. Additionally, you can narrow down the focus. If your mission is to become a football coach in France, you can start simply by learning the sport-related expressions and phrases.

Practice Regularly


Our brains often resist new things or things that we don’t want to let in. The same is with a new language. This seems like the unfathomed deeps you may be afraid of. However, after several repetitions our brain starts to accept it as something familiar, something that is usual and common. So the clue is making it regular and regular practice makes perfect in everything. 

Combine Reading with Writing


Reading is one of the essential activities in this process. Seeing the language working in context helps you grasp it more effortlessly. You should take a few books or magazines and read them every day. Of course, don’t engage in heavy philosophy at first but instead begin with the simplest texts that more or less match your current knowledge. While reading, you can always stop, consult a dictionary, and check the new words. Dan Wilson, a writer at www.essayontime.co.uk, you should write a small review or summary of what you read using the key phrases and structures in the book. This activity really upgrades your knowledge. So try it out!

Join Online Communities


In the Internet era, it's easy to find a lot of interesting online groups where language students exchange opinions and ask others to help them while learning. The good thing about this is that you can find many people who used to be in the same position like you. They'll understand your confusion and explain things even better than real-life tutors. At the same time, you won’t feel ashamed to make mistakes in front of the peers, which is a common problem among language students.  

Play Online Games


Today, many courses in all areas of expertise accept gamification elements as the natural part of their syllabus. Games are interesting and keep the students engaged, while it is very easy to adopt new knowledge using this mean of studying. Online language games can help you big time to develop language proficiency, so make sure to use this learning method. It won’t feel like you're really studying but you'll gain a lot of knowledge in the meantime.  

Listen to Music and Watch Movies


You probably enjoy listening to foreign music and watching dubbed films. This is a great way to learn a foreign language because it really makes you relaxed. You don’t have to understand everything and you can always look up any word you find important. You can learn new phrases and adopt the accent and pronunciation of native speakers.

Furthermore, music and video materials are great tools to find out more about the culture of any given country. This is an important step in the language learning process. The best thing is that you can choose the genre you like so it won’t feel like too much of a burden.   

Engage in Conversations


You can't master a foreign language by avoiding one-on-one discussions and group conversations. It always feels awkward when you stand in the middle of a group and don’t exactly know what is going on but this is the phase that you must go through. Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat something or even to re-phrase their sentences. If you want to learn, you'll occasionally need to swallow your pride and be ready for some confusing moments every now and then. 

Test Your Knowledge


With all these steps being taken, it's obvious that you're going to make good progress. Testing your knowledge every now and then is a great way to see how you're improving. There are a lot of online language proficiency tests that you can take for free so don’t hesitate to check them out. They don’t take too much time but they can give you an additional incentive to keep improving.


Reward Yourself


There is one more way to nurture your learning enthusiasm: promise yourself a reward once the studying is over. Buy a ticket to visit a foreign country or organize a party. Whatever makes you happy will be a nice incentive while learning.

Language learning is an inspiring process but it also brings a lot of obstacles. In this article, we made a list of 10 interesting, effective, and practical ways to make the language learning process easier and more reasonable. Using these tips, you can overcome the most common difficulties that may occur along the way but feel free to give us your own suggestions in comments. 

Rachel Bartee is an ESL teacher and a freelance writer who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Her life principle is “Always do more than you can”. Get in touch with her on Twitter.

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Check Grammar and Sentence Structure Online by Sophia Clark

There are plenty online tools you can use to check grammar.
Would you like to make your grammar and sentence structure flawless? Here are a few tools that you can incorporate when writing to check your grammar and sentence structure:

After The Deadline


This tool was created by Automattic and is considered one of the best for checking grammatical mistakes made while working online. With this tool, you can check for spelling and grammatical mistakes in your writing and it will also offer suggestions improve your piece of writing.

This tool also provides different add-ons and extensions that work on various platforms. However, since there’s no official support for these add-ons, we recommend that you stick to the online version.

PaperRater


PaperRater’s proofreader feature offers instant results
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/app-business-connection-device-221185/)

PaperRater is a free online tool that checks for plagiarism and grammatical mistakes. The Plagiarism Checker is an exceptional feature and the grammar checker feature relies on a patented cloud system.

PaperRater’s proofreader provides instant results and the scoring component in the program gives scores based on your written work. The fewer mistakes you make, the higher the score.


Grammarly


Grammarly is regarded as the ideal grammar checker tool and can help you find spelling and grammatical errors. It is one of the most popular grammar checkers in the world.

In spite of the fact that it isn't free to use, there is a free chrome extension that’s very handy for writing "error-free" content online.

If you want to use it, just visit their site, create a free account and get the free chrome extension to quickly improve your written work. You can also use this tool to check spelling whenever you write online (whether Wordpress, Gmail or even Twitter).

Online Correction


Online Correction is an online tool that helps you to find any grammar, spelling or stylistic errors that may have slipped into your writing. If you want to use this tool, simply go to their site, and you will see a basic text editor where you will enter your text to check for grammatical errors.

It also has an auto-correct feature whose results will appear on your results page. You can choose the language including regional variations like UK English or US English. No matter which language you're working in, this online checker tool will enable you to find and correct any grammatical errors made.

Virtual Writing Tutor


With this tool, you can use a microphone to change your text into speech while revealing any errors in your speech. You can also enter check your content for any grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. It is an excellent tool for all beginners who want to improve their writing online.

Sentence Correction

Poorly-written content can greatly affect your blog's readership and search rankings. Nobody likes to read poorly-punctuated texts. When it comes to these kinds of problems,, this tool can come in handy.

Sentence Correction can be used for the following: 
  • Spelling errors and inaccurately utilized words
  • Improperly utilized punctuation; the right use of apostrophes, commas, colons, and semicolons among other marks.
  • Enhances your grammar through rectifying issues, for example, dangling modifiers and fragments among others. 
  • Assists you to locate any plagiarism issues 
Check out their site, put your content in, and it'll correct your grammatical errors. All you have to do is click on Check your text and it'l give you some suggestions.

And there you have it! The above are just some of the tools that you can use to check grammar and sentence structure online. For college students, if you have any issues with definitions essay topics given in class, you can visit any online source for assistance.

Sophia Clark graduated University in New York with a B.A. in Journalism in 2011. She's a creative writer who loves to share her thoughts with readers and currently writes for Eliteessaywriters.  In her free time, she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Connect with her on Twitter and Google +.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Languages Online: The Best of August 2017

It's once again time to take a look at some of the best stuff we found on languages from the last month. Let's get to it!


Another great article from one of our favourite language websites. If you're wondering about learning a language, how difficult it is, and what it takes, this is an article you have to read!


Getting the accent right in a foreign language can be tricky. This article includes some interesting views on accents as well as tips and tricks for making your accent better.


There are plenty of benefits to learning foreign languages. Find out how speaking another language could do wonders when it comes to jobs.


If you love wordplay and puns as much as I do, you'll probably want to read this article on them and how there are a number of linguistic reasons why puns work so well in English.


According to 5 Minute Language, you can make things easier by reading these 5 books. Which ones are they? You'll just have to read the article.


This article is a fascinating look at the benefits of learning languages as well as all the disadvantages of not doing so. You should definitely read this article if you're still not sold on speaking a foreign language.


This article from the BBC has a look at a few people from multilingual places from around the world. It's an interesting read for anyone who grew up in a predominately monolingual place like I did.

There's a reason it's Little Red Riding Hood.

With August being Women in Translation Month, the Metro brought us a list of translated works that everyone should read. Check it out!


If you're a language enthusiast like myself, these are the kind of questions that keep you up at night. Fortunately, the Oxford Dictionaries' blog had it covered in this article on lexical differences.


If you're a native English speaker, you can often just tell when things aren't right. There are tonnes of "rules" in this article that you didn't know you knew and we didn't either!

Were there any other interesting language articles we missed? Tell us about them in the comments!

Monday, September 4, 2017

7 Awesome YouTube Channels for Learning English by Brenda Savoie

Have you ever thought about learning English on YouTube? YouTube isn’t just a place for cute animals and funny videos anymore. A lot of interactive courses on a vast number of topics are starting to emerge via YouTube. As we all know, in today’s world, a knowledge of the English language is often a necessity. I’m not saying you can’t survive without learning it but in order to travel or gather knowledge, it would be advisable to at least know the basics.

So why is learning English from YouTube such a great idea?

As you probably know, a foreign language can be much easier to learn if you use videos instead of books. One of the many benefits of videos is that you can hear the spoken words and improve your pronunciation. You can also see the words and images simultaneously on the screen. This will help you a lot if you're a visual learner and your listening skills will also improve. Other benefits include:
  • Vast amounts of learning materials.
  • Pause and rewind as you please (which you can’t do in class).
  • The chance to watch the speaker’s mouth, making it easier for you to learn how to pronounce different words.
No one said that that learning a foreign language was easy. It's definitely be a challenge. However, the learning process shouldn’t be a painful experience. That’s why you should focus on interactive learning through videos.

In the following article, I'll share 7 of the most resourceful YouTube channels that may aid you in learning English.


This guy’s channel is incredibly popular on YouTube these days. His style of teaching is extremely interactive and passionate. You can really see on this guy’s face how passionate he is about teaching. You can feel his excitement along the whole video. Every course that he uploads to YouTube is totally free. He considers humor to be a major part of learning. He has dozens of lessons on his YouTube channel which are extremely easy and fun to watch. So what are you waiting for? Pay him a visit!


This channel was created especially for those who want to learn English the quick way. An interesting thing about this channel is that, while learning English, you will learn about the American and British culture as well. It’s awesome because you get the chance to know the countries which language you are learning. It’s like the full package! They have over 1000 free videos on their YouTube platform. Give it a try!


In case you are just starting to get accustomed to the English language and looking for beginner lessons, look no further. Real English is the perfect learning channel for you. They have a vast library of free lessons that can be really useful for you. Each lesson is written in words, so pay attention to the text first. Continue by watching the video. Every lesson comes with two videos. So, you can read, listen and watch. The perfect way to learn English!

Radu Moldovan from Essayontime had this to say about learning English with YouTube:
“I had such a hard time learning English until I found out about these extremely useful channels that teach English for free. In comparison with learning English from books, these channels are much more efficient. It took me no more than five or six months to learn it. As you can see, now I’m making a living from writing in English. Interactive learning changed my view completely about the process of learning foreign languages.”

Here’s a learning innovation made possible by Voice of America. They have a very interesting way of teaching you English. Every lesson is somehow like a normal TV news report. But here comes the exciting part: the lessons are presented by English teachers.

They talk slower and clearer than normally, so you will get the chance to hear everything much better. They even add English subtitles to make it easier to understand. Therefore, you will learn English while watching the news. Crazy, right?


As you may know, in the workplace or in business, the English that they use may be totally different to informal English. So, how can you practice it? It’s quite difficult to learn it without being in a business environment.

The perfect place to learn may be Business English Pod. They offer extensive videos about all possible situations or vocabulary types that you might come across in a business. If you're interested in learning business English, this channel is exactly what you are looking for.


Jennifer ESL is a great channel for all kinds of learners. There are over 200 videos is available on the channel including lessons on writing, grammar, and speaking. What differentiates them from other channels is that they focus on pronunciation. Everything is natural; there are neither scripts nor actors. It’s a great channel for casual learners.


This particular channel has a totally different approach to teaching English. Each lesson focuses on the vocabulary you may need in a specific situation like in an airport, a store, a cinema or even at an embassy. All their videos have subtitles so you can gain a better understanding. Their main goal is to help you handle unexpected situations. All their lessons are straightforward and easy to follow. In case you wish to travel, remember to make use of this great platform.

Learning English can be a fun and interesting process. With the right tools, you can make it easier. In the past, we could only learn from books. Nowadays, there are countless ways of learning English. Go for it!

Brenda Savoie is a content marketer, private English tutor, desperate dreamer, and currently writing her first romance novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Check out her latest article “How to Write an Argumentative Essay: A Complete Guide”Find her on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, August 28, 2017

Choosing The Right Path: Online or Classroom Learning? by Tess Wilkinson

Which is the best way to study: online (also known as distance learning) or classroom? It’s not easy selecting the ideal option as there are many factors to consider; flexibility, travel arrangements, cost etc.

The first factor to consider is Time. Do you have the time to fit a classroom qualification into your schedule? Working full time myself, I know and understand the struggles of having the time to fit everyday life into the short few hours you get to yourself after the working day is done.

Some of you may have families to tend to which makes timing even trickier. Some of you may be full time interpreters, meaning your schedule is busy and unpredictable. Keep in mind that if you choose a classroom qualification, you will need to commit to attending on a regular basis, at a certain time each week and it’s not just the time spent at class that you have to plan for, you also need to consider your travel time and time to complete homework assignments.

If the answer to my first question is ‘No’, then I would strongly advise looking into an online qualification. Our online Interpreter qualifications are very flexible and accessible.

You have the freedom to log in and out of your studies whenever and wherever you like; from your smartphone or your laptop.it everyday life into the short few hours you get to yourself after the working day is done.

Another factor to consider is your learning preference. How do you like to learn? Are you a visual learner? Do you learn better by being surrounded with peers? Or do you like to get stuck in and learn as you go? Every individual learns and processes information in a different way, so we always try to cater for this.

If you find that your motivation to study is low, a classroom learning option might be best here. In a classroom, a teacher or tutor will be present as well as a classroom full of other students, and there is a set schedule for attending these classroom sessions and for completing work. This is a great motivator as you have to attend these sessions, and if you don’t, you will not gain the full qualification. For distance learning, one way around this is to agree deadlines with your assessor and make sure you stick to them.

Do you have the facilities to travel to a physical location? This is an important question to ask, as this alone can be a deciding factor for if a classroom or online qualification is the best option for you.

If the classroom location of the qualification is a fair distance from your home, this is off putting and demotivating for many reasons. It could be costly, it could be time consuming, and you may not drive and have to take public transport (which is unreliable at the best of times!). With a distance learning option, all of the time you put aside for your qualification can be spent studying so if travel is an issue, the online option is best for you.

The next factor I would consider is support. How do you like to be supported whilst studying? Do you like to be supported on a 1-2-1 basis, within a group of students or not at all? Many people assume an online qualification comes with no support from a tutor or assessor and, in a lot of cases, this is true.

If you prefer not to have any support and be left to your own devices, this is also an option. You can go through the content of the course by yourself and then discuss your progress with your assessor at the end of each module.

If you prefer to work in groups or with a class of students and a teacher, then the classroom learning option should be considered here but remember, you will still be required to work on your own to complete the majority of your assignments.

Finally, a key consideration for the majority of people is cost. Have you considered the full cost of the qualification such as price of attending, travel costs, childcare costs etc.? For a classroom qualification, you have to consider every single cost you may incur. You may have to take time off work to attend the class, which may mean that you do not get paid. If you have children, you may need to arrange childcare, which is costly.

You need to consider the price of transport getting to and from the classroom e.g.: petrol costs or bus/train fare and finally, you need to look at the overall enrolment cost. The total cost for a classroom qualification is more than likely higher than that of a distance learning qualification because you do not have to consider add on costs for a distance learning qualification.

At ISL, the cost of our qualifications cover all learning material, assessment fees and the support from your assessor and language specialist. There is no travel or childcare costs as you can study from the comfort of your own home.

Online or distance learning is becoming increasingly popular and will eventually be the leading and preferred learning method. According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, students undertaking online qualifications or training courses actually perform better than those attending a classroom course.

We hope this information will help you to choose your ideal learning method. If you have a question, get in touch with us at ISL and we will be more than happy to help!

This blog is brought to you by Tess Wilkinson from the International School of Linguists.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Benefits of Second Language Acquisition by Clinton Loomis

Learning a second language is very important and healthy. Scientific research indicates that it cognitive development.

Learning About Culture


Acquiring a second language helps you learn about different beliefs and cultures by giving you a pool of knowledge and ideas in common with other speakers of your new language.

You then start to understand the origins of certain cultures and how they came to be. When you learn a foreign language, you tend to gain a positive attitude towards other people’s culture and beliefs since.

Associating with other communities also helps children develop a broader view of the world. Children who understand the differences between different communities are also great at coming up with solutions when tensions arise between communities.

Better Problem Solving


If you have a second language, you can use the language to think differently and approach problems differently. This is hugely beneficial when it comes to problem solving. According to research, children who are exposed to a second language at a younger age tend to have a higher IQ than those exposed later on in life.

Bilingual children also tend to exhibit better levels of concentration meaning they tend to learn more quickly as they're paying attention. This extends beyond just language classes, too. Thanks to their improved concentration, bilingual children have an advantage when ti comes to other subjects like math.

Being bilingual is also shown to increase the size of your brain. Bilinguals tend to be more rational and logical when it comes to subjects like science and math. Their rational and logical approach when combined with higher levels of concentration means that they are better at making decisions.

Employment Opportunities


Learning a foreign language can also help when it comes to finding work, especially when it comes to international companies. In fact, some people have even studied a second language solely to improve their careers.

Then there are jobs that come with foreign languages. Foreign language graduates can work in teaching, translation, interpreting, etc. Language graduates can even be found working at immigration services.

Bilingual graduates have also contributed to bringing the world together using language as a bridge. They've also been to communicate with online communities that they wouldn't usually due to the language barrier.

Improving Your First Language


Anyone who mastered a second language is usually fairly well versed in their own language. Additionally, learning vocabulary, grammar, idioms, structures, and conjugations can teach you more about your own language. You start to see the similarities and differences between the two. Learning a foreign language in a specific context, at work, for example, can help you learn more about your own language in contexts you may not be familiar.

Learning a foreign language can also improve your confidence in all your languages and improve your mood. A happy learner is an effective learner and you'll find that, when paired with your improved concentration, you'll learn more quickly than ever. This will help when it comes to multitasking, remembering names and figures, and spatial memory.

Clinton Loomis is an educational specialist who has helped clients write for more than four years. He likes to use his skills to help his students and works at Coursework Club. He can be found on Google+.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Self-Studying Foreign Languages: Dos and Don’ts by Richard Nolan

Most people find learning a new language a bit of an impossible task. While it’s true that being able to grasp a foreign language may pose a challenge, it's not necessarily an impossible task. You can do it all by yourself. With the right resources, self-study may actually be just what you need to learn a foreign language.

So, what can you do to learn a new language? Here's a list of a few do's and don’ts.

Do:

1. Remember that Learning Is an Ongoing Process


Students have always had a problem recognizing that learning is an ongoing process since classes are usually finite. Self-study can help avoid such a scenario. When we decide to learn all by ourselves, there is no start date and end date. This means you have to be alert at all times!

There are many ways to learn apart from just reading books. You can listen to audio lessons, watch a movie in the foreign language or just interact with fluent speakers of the language!

You could be at a local restaurant, taking the bus, watching a movie or going to concerts or sporting events and still learn a thing or two. Carry a small note book around, where you can be writing down new vocabulary learned or challenges experienced.

2. Use Native Speakers


Native speakers are one of the most important resources when self-studying. They can be better than getting lessons from a teacher in a classroom. Native speakers are often more at ease with the language and they know the vocabulary and grammar better.

You can even be able to get the proper pronunciations and intonation of words and phrases. Talking and listening to native speakers broadens your understanding of the foreign language you are trying to master.

3. Exposure


When it comes to learning anything new, including a new language, exposing yourself is of great significance. While learning a foreign dialect, exposure comes in a number of ways, you just have to find what works for you. Here are some of the ways you can get more exposure to a language:

  • Watching movies and soap operas.
  • Listening to music and live radio.
  • Reading novels, newspapers, magazines or journals.
  • Going to concerts or sports events like a soccer game.
  • Restaurants are a great learning experience, too. In addition to all the good food you get to eat, you can learn through listening to people talk and ordering in the language that you’re trying to learn.
  • Podcasts and internet videos.


4. Practice

"Practice makes perfect" may sound like a bit of a cliché. However, we've all come across it and for a good reason. Perfection and success, in general, don't come easy in life. We need to put the effort in terms of practice in whatever we desire to achieve. Self-study makes practice obligatory.

Understanding a foreign language takes hours of practice through reading and writing. You can write dialogues, read or write essays with a focus on persuasive essay topics. The list of things that you can do for practice is limitless. It’s up to you to fully immerse yourself into your learning and find what practice avenue works in your favor. 

5. Have Fun


Whenever I decide to undertake any venture, one of the things I look at is the happiness factor, and I must say it has done a great deal for me. Have fun while learning, it makes the learning process easier and can make you successful. Nothing is worth doing if you’re not enjoying yourself. When something doesn't give you joy, what's the point in doing it? Enjoy your self-study - it makes all the effort you are putting in worth it!

6. Use Online Resources


The internet provides a number of platforms where you can learn a new language. You can find a native speaker from the country where the language you're trying to learn is spoken and communicate with them regularly. Learning a bit of their culture makes you better understand the language. Take advantage of YouTube videos and podcasts.


Don’t:

1. Get Comfortable


Once we’ve mastered a foreign language, most of us tend to get comfortable. The problem with this is that there's  a likelihood we may forget things. Self-study is a great way to avoid getting into that trap. Refresh your skills from time to time through reading, speaking, and writing.

2. Think Listening To a Native Speaker Isn’t Entirely the Solution


Native speakers are great but don't assume that just by listening to them automatically makes you fluent in a language. A lot of people fail because they thought having a native speaker guide them is all they needed.


3. Get Stressed Out

From my personal experience, working under favorable conditions makes us more efficient. Don't study if you're feeling tired or stressed out. The chances are you may not learn as much as you intended. It can also make the whole process too complicated. Write down your schedule and find a time of the day when you’re rested and are most likely to be efficient.

Conclusion


Learning a foreign language was previously a bit of a challenge since resources were limited. However, this has changed tremendously over the years. Right now, self-study is a great way to master a new language.

All it takes is finding the right resources to use, though there are things that one must be careful not do in the process as they may hinder the learning process. With self-study, you go at your own pace and can get more involved. Don't forget to have fun!

Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of  writing, blogging, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Languages Online: The Best of July 2017

As it's the start of a new month, we're back with some of the internet's best stories and content from last month. Let's have a look:


The Oxford Blog brought us some fascinating terms on Australian political speak in this article. Do you know your barbecue stopper from your wombat's tail? Don't worry if you don't! Find out about these interesting English terms in this article.


Anyone learning a language will appreciate this one. While making mistakes in a foreign language can be embarrassing, you should own those mistakes and use them to improve your foreign language skills. This article tells you how!


You ever had a feeling you can't put into words? This article explaining words for weird sensations and feelings might help!


Whether you're having a baby, trying to raise one bilingual, or just interested in child language acquisition, this is an article you should be reading!

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

This article discusses the languages spoken in Hong Kong and how the linguistic landscape has changed since the UK handed it back over to China in 1997.


If you're American, this won't bother you. However, if you're a speaker of British English, you may feel a little annoyed. It turns out that English is becoming more and more American but that doesn't mean that there's anything to worry about.


We just love the comics on Itchy Feet. Especially this one! (You should also check out their Kickstarter for their travel card game here.


Here's another article on child language acquisition. However, the article's focus is on making your baby bilingual. If you're interested in raising your child in a multilingual environment, here's how!


According to a recent study, babies can distinguish languages before they can even speak them. Check out this intriguing article about the study carried out by the University of Kansas.


This month's most popular piece is an article on what would seem like a non-story. It turns out we don't know why there are so many languages in the world! If you'd like to know more about why we don't know stuff, you should check out this article.

Were there any other articles or content online this month that we should have featured? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Top Online Tools to Improve Your Command of Writing in English by Sophia Anderson

It doesn’t matter why you decided to learn English. Maybe you need it for your work or studies. Maybe it’s just because you want to communicate with people online. Whatever the case is, you’ll find yourself in a situation when you’ll have to write something.

Good writing in English shows you’re an educated, smart person. Sometimes even the smallest mistake can ruin the impression you make.

If you’re wondering how you can improve your writing skills in English, everyone will tell you the same thing: practice! Practice is important, but you should always do it the right way. Fortunately, there are great tools that will help you learn and practice writing. Let’s list 12 of them.

1. Daily Writing Tips


Let’s be honest: you can’t become a masterful writer overnight. You need daily doses of tips on grammar, style, and vocabulary. If you read one of these Daily Writing Tips per day and you implement it in your practice, you’ll notice gradual progress in your skills. The posts on the site are brief, clear, and actionable.



This is an online program that offers an entire curriculum for people who want to become better at writing. The lessons and exercises are flexible and adaptive, according to your interests. It’s like getting your personal English language tutor, but you’re the one in charge of tailoring the lessons. No Red Ink is very good at keeping you engaged in the practice on a daily basis. It gives you challenges and triggers that make writing fun.



Here, you’ll find all grammar tips you could possibly need. You can learn how to use numbers, prepositions, adjectives and adverbs, verb tenses, and all other aspects of the language. When you master those concepts, you’ll be much more confident when expressing your message in written. Purdue OWL also gives you practice resources. 



You have trouble organizing your own practice patterns? You find yourself procrastinating, so you need real, traditional lessons to keep you committed? Why don’t you start learning according to an ESOL writing course? It’s free! You’ll find lessons on giving personal information, using adjectives, describing looks, and much more. Plus, the program engages you with different activities, so you’ll practice your writing and witness the progress you make.

5. Write & Improve by Cambridge English


The simple practice of writing is important, but it’s not enough. How do you know you’re getting good enough? You’re too attached to your own work, so you can’t judge it objectively. You absolutely need feedback, and you can get it at this site. All you need to do is choose a topic, write about it in English, and submit your work. You’ll get instant feedback that covers the vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.

6. EssaysOnTime


Sometimes you need something more than automated feedback. The previous tool will highlight the mistakes in grammar and spelling, so you can mechanically fix them. What about the style? In that aspect, a real writer or editor is superior to software. EssaysOnTime connects you with real writers and editors, who can take a look at your work and offer helpful suggestions. You can even hire a writer to start a project from scratch. You’ll collaborate with them, so you’ll see how the writing process works.



How about a quick daily test on writing? It will identify the gaps in your knowledge. Plus, tests can get addictive when they are brief, easy and useful. That’s exactly what this resource offers. Solve a test per day to get proof of your progress.

8. Common Errors


Are you making some of the most common errors in writing that ESL learners are guilty of? Go through this list. It’s huge, but it gives you something useful to explore. Pick a category you’re interested in, and you’ll see how people frequently mistake in their writing.

9. Writing Skills


This is a pretty basic site, but it proves that the visual appeal doesn’t determine the quality of the resource. You get detailed tips that help you master various aspects of the English language. For example, you can learn how to write narrative essays, descriptive papers, research papers, letters, biographies, and other types of content.

10. Definr


Everyone needs a dictionary. No, you don’t have to get a real dictionary and look through it while you’re writing. Definr is a simple online tool that gives you definitions of words. All you need to do is search the word you don’t understand, and you’ll get a clear explanation of its meaning. Much easier than using a huge dictionary.

11. Grammarly


This is an automated tool that checks your grammar. You can add it as Chrome extension, so it will warn you about grammar issues whenever you’re typing something online. It will save you from many embarrassing situations when you’re trying to compose an email.

12. The Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource from Lifehack


Finally, let’s conclude this list of tools with a suggestion for another list. In this post, you’ll find descriptions of 9 tools that make you a better, more productive writer.

All these tools are highly effective and very easy to use. Pick the ones that fit into your practice and use them every day. Stay patient and you will definitely reach your target!                                                   
Sophia Anderson is an associate educator, blogger and freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on learning, writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development. Talk to her on Facebook or LinkedIn.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

5 Top Tips for those Wanting to Become Freelance Interpreters by Tess Wilkinson

Registering as an interpreter can be a daunting task, especially if you have little or no experience in the sector. As with most jobs, a requirement is to have “At least 1 year experience in the field” but how are you supposed to gain experience when nobody will take you on, due to lack of experience? It’s a catch 22 situation.

As an Interpreter, I am sure you will have come across this situation when applying for jobs, especially now the industry standard is to have a Level 3 Qualification under your belt. Here are our 5 top tips for Interpreters before joining the workforce.


1. Research


Is this career path really for you? Are you fluent enough in 2 languages to interpret accurately? Do you mind working varied and flexible hours? Are you willing to travel? Can you take on last minute assignments? These are all areas for consideration before choosing Interpreting as your career path. You may be asked to interpret in a hospital one day where a member of someone’s family is being diagnosed with a serious or life threatening illness. This is a very emotional and distressing position to be in and you must remain impartial. A thorough research into the field is needed before jumping straight into it and deciding whether this is for you.

2. Agency or Freelance?


You need to decide whether you wish to work for an agency or work for yourself in your own freelance business.  Freelancers work independently and directly with clients. Agencies employ freelancers to work individually and together on projects for clients. An agency acts like a middle man; they will find the work for you to do rather then you finding it yourself.  Finding work through an agency is easier but can pay less. Another option is to start up your own agency and employ freelancers yourself but this will take more planning and you need to find the clients to keep your freelancers happy. Have a look at our Introductory Business Skills courses here. They are designed to help you to get your freelance business up and running.

3. Entry Requirements


What are the entry requirements to work professionally as an interpreter? Do you need any qualifications? Do you need a certain amount of experience? Do you have to be a specialist in the different sectors such as Health, Police or Education etc.? It is your responsibility to find out what you need to do and prepare before you apply with an agency or set your own business up. Have a look at our Interpreting Qualifications and Courses here.

4. Career Plan


Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Having a realistic career plan is essential for personal growth and development. Once you have figured out if this industry is for you, whether you want to register with an agency or work freelance and whether you need to be qualified, map out a career plan and track your progress against it. How long does it take to be qualified? Which agencies do you want to register with? How many assignments do you wish to have undertaken in one years’ time? Will you increase your rates the more experienced you become? What do you need to in order to successfully run your own freelance business?

5. CV


A crucial part of applying for jobs is having a current, relevant and professional CV. If you don’t have a CV, write one! Here is a great site on how to write a CV. If your CV is out of date, update it! Be sure to add all of your skills, experience and job history. It is also ideal to have a portfolio or folder of all your qualifications and certificates. When I was searching for a job, I found it very useful to have all of my qualifications, certificates and CPD records to hand, in one place. It saved me from scrambling around my bag pulling out crumpled paper. It also makes you seem more organised.

Job searching can seem intimidating if you don’t prepare yourself for challenges along the way. If you follow our 5 simple top tips, the hunt for a job will seem less daunting and more rewarding.



To summarise:


  • Do your research
  • Do you want to be self-employed or work for an agency?
  • What do you need before you can become a professional interpreter?
  • Map out your career goals and objectives
  • Have an up to date CV


This blog is brought to you by Tess Wilkinson from the International School of Linguists.